Everything must go

I’ve been wheelin’ and dealin’. All I need is a cheap tweed coat with leather patches at my elbows and I could be dodgy salesman of the year. If someone says hello to me, I say, “Hey do you need a microwave?” or “You look tired, want to buy a chair to park your arse on?”

There’s only a month until we skip the country, so we’re selling a lot of our worldy goods. We were supposed to have a garage sale tomorrow, but I’ve managed to offload so much of our stuff to friends and people at work that there’s not enough left to have one.

We’ve had people fighting over furniture, minor bidding wars and one packrat Mothership attempting to hijack the whole event.

MOTHERSHIP:  You’re not selling that toaster are you?

RHIANNON:  Yes we are selling that toaster.

M:  Can I have it?

R:  You already have a toaster!

M:  But my toaster might die! There could be a toast situation. I need backup!

This whole thing is so surreal. It would appear things are winding up, doors are closing. Our furniture collection is slowly eroding, the gym membership has expired, we’ve given notice on our flat, there’s moving boxes everywhere, they’ve found a replacement for me at work. I’m watching this flurry of activity with my usual absent-minded blahness and can’t comprehend that I am actually leaving.

And I don’t want to stop and think about it, because then the panic kicks in and I start running around in small circles, muttering what if i can’t find a job what if noone understands my accent what if all my friends forget me what if we can’t find somewhere to live what shoes am i supposed to pack?

BOSS:  We just interviewed someone to replace you. She’s really good.

SHAUNA:  Oh yeah? Is she better than me?

B:  She’s not that good.

S: Well, good.

COLLEAGUE:  Is she good looking?

B:  She’s very good looking.

S:  Hmmph.

B:  And she’s a snowboarder. Very athletic.

S:  Bah! I can’t compete with that. I hate you all!

About Shauna Reid

Ahoy there! I’m Shauna, an author, copywriter and content mentor. I love telling stories about life and helping others to tell theirs.

Find out more about me and how we can work together – I’m now booking for January 2022.

56 thoughts on “Everything must go

  1. whyyy’s that, tj?

    btw people, Manuel is for sale. Our car. Mothership was sposed to buy it but she suddenly decided she can’t afford it. For FUCK’S SAKE.

    so please. if you know anyone who needs a car?

    Manuel – 1998 Ford Festiva, 5 speed manual, 42,000 km, burgundy colour, sporty stripe, alloy wheels, 6-stack CD player, log books, air con, brilliant fuel economy ($30 for Sydney trip), immaculate condition.

  2. Yannow, you can start looking for a job while you’re still here. There’s heaps of agencies that do that.

    I’ll have Manuel. I’ll give you $20 for him. Course, I’ll have to pay in installments, but you don’t mind, right?

  3. There’s nothing like selling all your shit to know you’re about to embark on a big-ass adventure.
    If you weren’t in a panic everyone here would be concerned for you sanity I would think. I’m sure Canberra will not be the same without you, though your job probably will.Oh…remember to breathe! :p

  4. Been there.

    Done that.

    Accumulated the debt (and, for three years, the black snot) that says I am a Londoner!

    And the greatest secret?

    Nobody knows what they’re doing. Not a one. You reckon you’ll do things a completely different way than you actually do them because when you get to a new place like that, you operate all on reflex, not on thoughts of how you’d planned to go. You might think you’re operating to a plan, but usually, you start off going day-to-day, until you get some kind of nice level of homeostasis going. Something might come along and rock the boat – hey, I thought I’d be in the UK forever (and regret that I’m not, now I know you’re moving over!) but things changed and I guess I had to deal with them. And you will too, and I don’t say that in a kind of preachy way – it just happens.

    I guess what I’m saying is to just relax. Let it come on and you’ll deal with it when it happens. You’ll only start grinding your teeth and getting tension headaches if you try to second-guess the great unknown.

    The slightly unreal feeling will wear off sometime during a bus ride in your third week in the country. Fact.

    Jesus! This is meant to be a comment, not a blogpost! Ack.

  5. Oh I am so jealous! It is so long since I left the country for any length of time. Congratulations. You will have a great time, sometimes you will be homesick and miserable but the rest of it will more than make up.

    And make your mother pay for that toaster!!!!!

  6. Exciting! Exciting! 😀

    “what if i can’t find a job”? Well, I’m thinking of going into the candle making business, so if you fancy being a candle seller in the streets of Edinburgh…

    “what if noone understands my accent”? We import enough Australian soaps, so I doubt that problem will arise.

    “what if all my friends forget me”? The real ones won’t. They’ll miss you instead.

    “what if we can’t find somewhere to live”? A friend of mine was homeless for a while, so he just visited people (friends and so on) all over the kingdom, spending a week here, a fortnight there, until he’d got something a bit more suitable sorted out. In effect, he turned homelessness into a string of back-to-back holidays on the cheap.

    “what shoes am i supposed to pack?” I think shoe sizes are probably different over here, so I doubt any of your existing shoes would fit you in Scotland anyway.


    But seriously, it does all sound really exciting! Reminds me of the run-up to my much shorter trip to Australia two decades ago. Even though we weren’t selling lots of stuff, and all that kind of thing, it was so exciting that I ended up actually physically ill with excitement just before the flight out! Fortunately, I recovered just in time, and so our six week trip wasn’t cancelled after all.

    Anyway, hope you have a good last month in Canberra 😀

  7. Shauny…surely you know my attitude towards Garage sales….with MY family! I’ve spent my childhood trying to avoid them!

    On the other hand, if I bring my dad around there, you’ll be completely cleared out within 15 minutes!

    There’s an idea…

  8. Don’t have a bookcase do you??

    I’m jealous too. Friggin people getting all brave and heading off to New Lands. One day I’ll get there, I hope. Good on you for making the move.

  9. I understand about the job angst bit… I don’t know if it’s worse when they think they can’t do without you or when they realize that they can.

    Good luck. Enjoy your trip. I’ve always wanted to see Edinburgh.

  10. Death to athletic snow-board-bunnies I say!

    Edinburgh? I’ve just decided to scrape my crap together and apply for a study grant to go there.

    But you’re really doing it …

    *squint that accompanies concentrated beam of envy-awe*

  11. Shauns: If life were a planned series of events, then it would become boring enough for humanity to set a date for mass suicide.

    Go with the flow, girl, and live some life! There will be happiness and hesitation, madness and melancholy. But pretty much you’ll come up on top if you embrace it. Don’t let worrying get in the way of a cheery demeanor. And keep in mind that when you step into a foreign country, you become exotic! It got me into some rewarding situations the two times I visited Germany. And it certainly got an old roommate of mine from Liverpool far with the ladies, so far that I nicknamed his bedroom entryway “the revolving door.”

  12. I’d be a nervous wreck if I was leaving the country.

    I’d love to move overseas, and I plan to eventually. I hope.

    I think you should be very proud of yourself, Shauny. You’re doing something a lot of people dream about but never do. Good job. 🙂

  13. ah, shauny you’ll be fine.
    indeed, europeans love aussies. you’re all so exotic! don’t you ride kangaroos to work in the morn? aren’t you all bound to your surfboards all day and hence super hot?

    in any way: can you send over a healthy dose of absentminded blahness, please? i am in a similar panic already (even though mine revolves around “can i afford it all?!). a year too early.

  14. I bet the Edinburgh festival’s comedy agents will be waiting at the airport for youse! You’ll be fine – Edinburgh is a great city, and you have the advantage of not being English, so the Scots will love you 🙂

    Oh and bring some thermals – it’s still bloody cold here!

  15. Shauny,

    Scottish peolple are fantastic and Edinburgh will welcome you with open arms for sure. I’m all for aussies coming over to Europe as I found one of my very own from London and we now live in Edi;-) You know, you just might have friends here already!

  16. Ahh, you people.

    Vicky – how cold is it? i have no idea what to pack. will it be much warmer in four weeks time?

    Scott – selling my body? that’s not a bad idea. desperate times call for desperate measures. I’ll start out with kisses, $50 each.

    Inkariia – Wow, that is somewhat reassuring 🙂

    And E-P, yes you were right, as always 😛

  17. I can understand the need for 2 toasters–toast situations can be so very, very difficult.

    Wow Shauna. I hate moving. Moving continents would suck eggs in some ways and be fabulously exciting in others. Honestly, when I look back on my ‘accomplishments’ in life I swear the only thing I’m really, really proud of is vacating apartments, getting my stuff into someplace else and getting that cleaning deposit back. Of all the things I’ve done, that’s the thing I continue to marvel at.

    Good luck with it all!

  18. But…but…I made toast with that toaster! We have many great times shared! Like that morning, when I made peanut-butter toast, and then, uh, later that morning, when I made toast with strawberry preserves and not a lick of Vegemite.

    Godspeed, little toaster.

  19. what if i can’t find a job what if noone understands my accent what if all my friends forget me what if we can’t find somewhere to live what shoes am i supposed to pack?

    as someone who’s done it:

    what if i can’t find a job

    you will, they love australians, we work hard apparently

    what if noone understands my accent

    they will, but better, they will love it

    what if all my friends forget me

    some of them, the ones that are just crap, might, or might just forget how to keep in touch (my experience) but the ones who really matter won’t.
    and your blog will be a huge huge help.

    what if we can’t find somewhere to live

    you will. i did, really easily

    what shoes am i supposed to pack?


    seriously, you’ll be fine shauny. i did it by myself 5 years ago and i was petrified but it all worked out and now i have this amazing sense of being able to survive. good luck! maybe one day we’ll run into each other.

  20. True it is warming up a bit, but compared to down South it’s still a bit nippy. I’d say…hmm…t-shirt under medium thickness jumper under spring coat.

    Does that help? Oh well you can always buy more here, I guess 🙂

  21. I’m breaking out in hives just reading about this. Exciting — yet I can’t imagine the anxiety associated w/ parting toasters.

  22. Hey, it’s not just you that’s slept in that bed. There’s been Canberra, Sydney, Missouri and Goulburn blogging elite slept in that bed!

    THE bed for only 150? wowee!

    um, not that you’ve… well, I’m sure you’ve… What I mean to say is that you haven’t … slept with all of us. Well, slept in the sense of sleep, yes, but… umm…

  23. Run, Shauny, Run!
    Someday you’ll be too old, laden down with children, house, responsibilities, dogs etc…

    Go where the accents are sexiest…good plan…

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